On Amazon Prime Day, a day that will live in infamy for its hilariously bad deals (it really was like the clearance section at TJ Maxx), I ordered a highchair and bra extenders. In terms of Amazon purchases, these aren't all together the weirdest things to order: I got the highchair of my choice for Forrest for $70 cheaper than usual (and $90 cheaper than Target) and I got bra extenders because, well, you know.
It got me thinking about when I started ordering from Amazon and what I ordered... and what I've ordered over the years.
I'm probably a bit of a strange bird in terms of my generation: I wasn't big into online shopping until probably 2010 or 2011. I never trusted online deals or any particular websites and in retrospect, this is probably why I was so good at not spending all my money immediately when I was younger (although I was very good at that early on).
However, once I got into the swing of things on Amazon, I really went for it. Here's a run down.
In my first Amazon order ever, I purchased a workbook and laboratory manual to accompany my Deutsch: Na klar! An Introductory Germany Course textbook. Obviously, I was prepped to study German. Hilariously, the workbook I received also featured the teacher's answer section in the back, which I used because I'm not dumb and I'm a bit lazy when it comes to workbooks.
A few months later, I ordered over $200 worth of books, including Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Young Lonigan. I remember this term of my school career and I remember it well, because I was really tired of reading old white guy literature by the end of it. Thankfully, I also ordered a copy of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to break up the monotony.
Another year, another $200+ on books. This was the year I got really into sociology, obviously. A sample of the books I read include A New Look at Black Families, How Does it Feel to be a Problem, and the Rich Get Rich and the Poor Get Prison. As a side note, I'm currently rereading How Does it Feel to be a Problem and it's so good; it's only $10. Buy it.
This was the year I started to really get into Amazon. I ordered my last bundle of school books (sample: Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition), but I placed five other orders of non-school books and other weirdo stuff, including my camera. A link no longer exists for it, but I also ordered a bunch of bulk camera lens wipes.
I am not a night shopper and I don't usually make impulse decisions. But in my two paltry Amazon orders of 2012, I made two intensely impulsive decisions. On one of Danny's visits home, I bought Katamari Damacy for his Playstation 3. This game is essentially a game version of taking acid and flying to Tokyo, then trying to navigate your way around mid-trip. I also ordered the stupid expensive Lord of the Rings extended edition blu-rays because, duh, Danny and I needed them.
2013 was the year I got Amazon Prime and it made a huge impact on my life. I ordered a planner that I literally have no recollection of using, a really horrible novel that I read on my honeymoon, books about emotional eating, and a copy of this awful movie for Danny.
In 2014, I hit my Amazon stride. Up until 2014, I'd been placing between 2 and 6 orders on Amazon. This year, I upped the ante and placed a total of 15 orders. It's almost embarrassing. This was also the year I started clawing my way out of the deep, dark depression that had encompassed my life in 2013 and early 2014, and in some ways, my purchases mirror that.
I ordered the Venture Bros, a bunch of Kong toys for Remus, 21 Jump Street, TWO of these jump drives (Danny knows why), and a ton of Quest bars. Between these seemingly normal-if-disparate things, I ordered a ton of phone cases, a case for my Kindle, what feels like waaaay too many Kindle books, and a lot of chevron print stuff.
Don't judge me: in the first 7 months of 2015, I've placed more orders than I did for 2014. I don't leave my house anymore, guys! I'm a bloated, miserable, whiny, pregnant mess. What can I say?
I've ordered Tummy Drops that made me sicker, Mama Butter which smells good but does nothing, tiny baby glasses, this weird movie that is apparently part of a series, an embarrassing amount of scrapbooking supplies*, and stuff for my baby shower. I also ordered vitamin B6, prenatal vitamins (which I ended up trading for gummies from Target), at least 20 Kindle books, and another heap of iPhone covers. What can I say, I'm a collector for those iPhone covers.
*If you're looking for cheap scrapbooking stuff, seriously check Amazon before going to a physical store.
In many ways, tracing my Amazon purchases is like tracing my life. Everything in my world revolved around school for a long time. Post-school, it was cameras, GRE study books, and the occasional movie. In the year(s), I was depressed it was movies, weird video games, books to help with my depression (that didn't help), and gifts. In the past few years, I've ordered gifts, things that revolve around my hobbies (scrapbooking, reading, planners), things that revolve around my unending obsession with my body and its size (weight loss books, more books by Geneen Roth, a Fitbit, Quest bars), and alas, baby stuff. Enough baby stuff to build a tiny mountain.
I can trace the crests and valleys of my life, the highs and lows, the classes I loved and hated, the months where I most wanted to curl into a ball and disappear. It's strange what an online purchase history can reveal--and what it can make me feel.